Will you help us put inequality on the agenda for the general election?

The forthcoming election is a rare “tipping point” opportunity to change what gets said and done about inequality by people in power – and we need to make the most of it.

There are encouraging signs: mainstream politicians who previously avoided talking about inequality now want to be seen to be addressing the problem. This is no doubt because 83% of British people think inequality has gone too far and a series of influential people – not the ‘usual suspects’ but mainstream economists and business groups – have warned that inequality is now so bad it is weakening the economy.So we have Ed Miliband saying that “tackling economic inequality is Labour’s mission”, the Coalition parties discussing “narrowing inequality”, the Greens saying “inequality has utterly got out of control”, the SNP promising a “strong focus” on closing the gap, and UKIP regularly talking about tackling “elites”.

But words aren’t action: inequality is predicted to get even worse in the next few years, and no parties have yet announced policies capable of reducing it.

Those of us who are serious about reducing inequality need to put pressure on all the parties to commit to the policies we all need. The Equality Trust will be asking all party leaders to commit to a clear inequality-reduction target if they are elected in May, and we’ll be doing all we can to make sure that they are regularly put on the spot and on the record to say whether they will adopt that target. 

But we need your help. In the next few months, candidates will be campaigning hard in your constituency, probably with the help of visiting MPs. When they do, we need to make it impossible for them to avoid questions about what they will actually do to address inequality, and impossible to avoid being judged by voters on the strength of their answers.

If you are willing to take action, from the simple (e.g. sending your local candidates a letter) to something more substantial (e.g. organising a hustings) please let us know as soon as possible by contacting us at info@equalitytrust.org.uk. Please provide your name, preferred email address and your postcode as standard (although your full address and telephone number would also be very useful to have as well). If, in addition to taking individual action, you want to be linked up with your nearest local equality group we can do that for you, just let us know.

We will shortly be providing a full guide helping both individual supporters and our affiliated local equality groups to campaign, and we will be happy to help throughout the run-up to the election if you have any questions. Thank you for your support!

Duncan Exley, Director, The Equality Trust